Beach time!

Beach time!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Heroes of my childhood

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalms 27:1
When I was a small child, I admired and read about strong women who loved the Lord. You might think I was odd when you hear the list but they were women that showed a strength of spirit, given by her God. Maybe I was odd but their stories deeply impacted my little life.  
Puritan Fanny Crosby wrote great hymns such as "Blessed Assurance", "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home", "Praise Him, Praise Him", "Rescue the Perishing", and "To God be the Glory". Fanny was blind, yet composed poetry, taught, lobbied to government officials, and wrote these famous hymns.
Corrie Ten Boom was another one whose story I read over and over. She wrote "The Hiding Place" and several others that talk about her experience in the Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII. She managed to survive but lost most of her family in the camp before liberation. Her family was held here as punishment for hiding a Jewish family.
There were several others (Joni Tada and Helen Keller) but there was one that I was enamored with. Elisabeth Elliot was married to Jim Elliot (whose story was told in "Through Gates of Splendor"-the book-"End of the Spear"-the movie). Jim Elliot was brutally murdered by the tribe with whom he and his missionary buddies were trying to make contact with. Their daughter, Valerie, was 10 months old at the time of the murder. Elisabeth and Valerie moved to the very village whose men murdered her husband and dearest friends and lived there for 2 years and showed them the love of Christ. Much of the tribe ended up believing in Christ, including several of the tribal leaders that directly murdered her husband.
Why am I sharing all of this? Each of these women suffered tremendous adversity. I can only imagine the bouts of fear that each of these women struggled with. It's easy to look at a 2 paragraph summary of a life story but to live it out must have been incredibly challenging. Could you imagine bringing your 10 month old baby girl into a village that had heartlessly killed your husband? But with God.  Can you imagine living through the daily terror of a concentration camp, watching your family perish, and still love your God? But with God. Could you imagine being a blind woman in the early 1900's lobbying to Congress about the rights of disabled people to have an equal education? But with God.
All of these women had huge "thems" to fear (look back a few days to read about the "thems" that we fear) but with God they made a huge impact on this world. Maybe I was an exception that I was reading these books at a young age but they made a huge dent on my little soul. My heart loved God from an early age and these women just struck a chord in my soul.

When my fears make me feel inadequate, insufficient, and insecure, I know that the 'the LORD is the light of my salvation...and the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom should I be afraid?"
Thanks for indulging me on my walk with some of my heroes in the faith. If any of these names are unfamiliar to you, I can link some amazing books on here to get you started. Here is the site for the "End of the Spear" movie. Amazing story.
Thanks, Keshia, for the timely verse today. Keep 'em coming! :)

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